Nancy Keating

The Grammar of Traps

Starfish sees the trap of fractals, the decorator’s rule of five, Japanese flower arrangements,

the pruned branches of privet, yes, and tributaries back in their banks.

Memory sees the trap of logical, longitudinal, linear progression.

Trash can sees the trap of closure.

Ring sees the trap of whose diamond is biggest. And, infinity. Again.

Grid sees the trap of city, cemetery, supermarket aisle, cropland, parade.

Artist sees the trap of disorder, the entropy of life, the spinning-out into shambles of her process,

the partly-filled notebooks, paper clips corralling scraps of extra lines, erasures and elisions between.

Nancy Keating‘s poems have been published by New Letters, The Gettysburg Review, Carolina Quarterly, and elsewhere. She has an MFA from Stony Brook University and teaches at Farmingdale State College when she is not knitting.